by Nur Humairah Bte Muhleseddin
“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous.” – An-Nisaa: 69
How can we appreciate the presence of an All-Knowing Master, when we are not even made aware of our status as servants?
The inaugural ‘Sacred Path of Love’ conference once again brought together renowned scholars from all over the world to share their expertise of the Deen with fortunate participants in Sout Ilaahi’s third inaugural conference. Given the theme ‘The Meaning of Servanthood’, it was an apt theme for all those who yearned for proximity with God.
What is the meaning of ihsan? How can one be in constant remembrance of Allah? Is repentance easily obtained? How does all that relate to the spiritual path towards God, and one’s journey towards servanthood?
The majlis received a blessed kick-start with a keynote address by Habib Hasan Al-Attas, who related advice on the characteristics of a true servant of God. He reminded everyone that the presence of the notable speakers at the event was not because of the organisers, but was ultimately Allah’s doing – The Almighty had brought the speakers to grace the event, and blessed were they who were granted the chance to attend.
Among the honourable foreign scholars were: Shaykh Dr. Thaika Shuaib (India), Imam Tahir Anwar (US), Imam Abdoulaye Ndaw (US), Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Jailani (Malaysia) and Shaykh Naeem Abdul Wali (US). With a repertoire of credentials, to be able to receive discourse from such teachers was definitely not a chance not to be missed. Local scholars were also not spared the limelight, with Ustaz Mohd Feishal, Ustaz Fizar Zainal, Ustaz Nuzhan Abd Halim and Ustaz Amin Md Yusoff gracing the event. For Shaykh Afeefuddin and Ustaz Fizar, it was their second time presenting at the conferencing, with much fanfare. The two-day spiritual retreat was further blessed by guest performances by Maadihul Mustafa and Muhibbur Rasul, much to the delight of the audience.
This year, a considerable amount of discussion highlighted the importance of ihsan – an aspect of the Deen that is increasingly overlooked in today’s world – and that having a guide was imperative to one’s spiritual development. Many of the scholars had related hadith Jibril, in which Islam, Iman and Ihsan had been explained by the Prophet salallahualaihiwassalaam. And intrigued were the participants, as many had directed questions with relation to the mystical paths of tariqas and their relevance.
At the final question-and-answer session, a special prayer was also read, after it was made known that a non-Muslim lady in attendance had made the decision to embrace Islam after her two-day experience at the conference. To many, it was definitely a pleasant surprise and a heart-warming end to a remarkable two-day spiritual feast.
It is beyond doubt that the ‘Sacred Path of Love: the Meaning of Servanthood’ was an event that had unveiled a path to some, while granting a variety of opportunities to others. May all of those who were present at the conference be guided to the true path of servitude towards God.
“Know that the most sublime abiding station in which the servant could be established is the station of servitude.” – Imam Ibn ‘Ataillah al-Iskandari